The last three baseball seasons have exhibited the undue power that I have over MLB outcomes.
Example #1: During the entire 2011 season, I withheld consumption of any beer brewed in Boston (Sam Adams being the most noteworthy brand). As a direct result, the Red Sox suffered one of the worst collapses of a first-place team in MLB history and missed the playoffs by one game in 2011. The payoff of my first ever Boston Beer Boycott was long in arriving, but it so greatly exceeded my expectations that I knew I had to try it again in 2012.
Example #2: During the entire 2012 season, I again abstained from Boston-brewed beer. To my great delight, the Red Sox produced their worst season since 1965 and finished last in the AL East. By mid-July, I was missing Sam Adams' Cherry Wheat brew most dearly, but the daily box scores justified the sacrifice.
Example #3: During the entire 2013 season, not a drop of Boston beer has breached the threshold of my estate, AND YET those Sox are in first place, all but assured of finishing the season with MLB's best record. Worse, the Yankees have been eliminated from playoff contention and have spent more money on rehab assignments than major league talent during the current campaign. What changed in 2013?
With apologies to all the other sincere Yankee fans in my life, I must confess that I altered the formula. What 2013 does not have in common with 2011 and 2012 is my facial hair pattern. Traditionally (almost religiously), I have shaved my face to a completely clean surface the morning after the Yankees played their last game of the season. Some years this has occurred the morning after a World Series victory, but most often after being eliminated from the playoffs. The Morning-After-the-Yankees'-Last-Game shaving session has always initiated the subsequent growth of each winter's "Off-Season Beard," which has always nested on my cheeks and chin until Opening Day of the following spring.
The morning of the great American holiday, Opening Day, has annually marked when I trimmed the Off-Season Beard down into a more seasonally-appropriate goatee. For reasons of summer comfort and aesthetics, I have always worn a goatee during the baseball season. Year after year, the beginning and ending of the New York Yankees seasons have served as landmarks and milestones on my calendar. I have been a typical firstborn Pearce, thriving in the peace and tranquility of Routine and Tradition--until this spring.
I turned 31 years of age this spring. One of the resolutions I made was to keep a beard all summer. Motivated partly by the urgings of my wife (whose vote in these matters often counts double), and party by the desire to put away the more juvenile elements of my existence, I did not trim my Off-Season Beard down into a goatee on the morning of Opening Day 2013. I have kept a beard all baseball season.
And so I do not need to belabor the conclusion to you, the intelligent and perceptive reader. The power that I possess over the outcome of a 162-game schedule is undeniable. Consequently, the vanity and gross negligence that I have displayed cannot be excused, justified, or explained. I have been irresponsible and careless in cutting down the hopes and ambitions of an entire empire of Yankee fans--all because I did not cut down my beard on April 1, 2013. I have affected people's lives in real and tangible ways.
I have great power. I have been irresponsible. I am very sorry.